Total distance driven excluding detours:  2,950 km

We drove this itinerary from 28 August to 7 September 2017. Whilst it was sunny, it was bloody windy which limited some of the activities we could do. Bear in mind activities cost money and as we are travelling for a year, we just can’t afford to do everything. There are lots of boat excursions, snorkelling trips and 4WDing tours to be had along the way which you can organise on arrival to each town.

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Day 1 
PERTH TO CERVANTES
Approx 250 km = 2 hr 30 m

Drive north on the Indian Ocean Drive to the coastal town of Cervantes and spend the night at the RAC Cervantes Holiday home. This campsite is the only one in town but it is has modern amenities and direct access to the beach.

What to do:

Visit the Pinnacles Desert in the Numbing National Park and take some amazing pictures in amongst the limestone towers (19 km south of Cervantes)

Visit a lobster factory, which offer tours, and take home some fresh lobster for your dinner

Take in the view at the Hansen Bay Lookout or hit the 1.5 km walking loop at Lake Thetis which is a thrombolite (living fossil site)

Click here to read our Cervantes & Pinnacles Desert post

Day 2
CERVANTES TO GERALDTON
Approx 170 km = 1hr 45 m

Continue north to Geraldton and stay at the Batavia Garden Campsite for the night.

What to do:

On the way to Geraldton, make a detour to Lesueur National Park just outside of Greenhead and check out all the flora and fauna particularly between July and October.

Walk around town checking out the Street Art Trail

Extend your stay – check out the Abrolhos Islands by air (half day and full day scenic flight tours available)

Day 3
GERALDTON TO CARNARVON
Approx 480 km = 4 hr 50

Bit of a drive! Take note that there are only 3 places to fill up on petrol along this distance once past Northampton (Billabong Roadhouse, Overland Roadhouse and Woomarel Roadhouse), so keep an eye on your fuel tank gauge. Stay at Norwestra Campsite who have the best rates in town and the cutest dog who greets everyone with a lick.

What to do:

Check out the local growers & craft market on a Saturday

Drive the ‘Fruit Loop’ and buy some locally grown fresh produce

Take in the sunset whilst walking along The Fascine

Day 4
CARNARVON TO EXMOUTH
Approx 365 km = 3 hr 40

Continue driving north to Exmouth and spend a night at Yardie Homestay where you can spot kangaroos nibbling on dinner as you watch the sun go down from your van.

What to do:

Take a drive through the Cape Range National Park. Watch out for the kangaroos and emus crossing the road.

Visit the pretty Turquoise Bay where you can drift snorkel (weather and tide permitting)

Walk the nature trail at Yardie Creek and get ready for some awesome photo opportunities

Extend your stay – if the weather is good, spend a few nights here and take a glass bottom boat tour, snorkel on the reef from the beach or on a boat tour, swim with whale shark (March to July) or join an eco-tour for whale watching

Day 5
EXMOUTH TO CARNARVON
Approx 365 – 3 hr 40

Head back south for another overnight stop at Carnarvon, if only to have a cuddle with the gorgeous dog at Norwesta Campsite (again!)

What to do:

Along the way, stop at Coral Bay. A little town set right on the beach with campsites overlooking the water. Snorkel right off the beach or go on a Manta Ray tour.

Extend your stay – if the weather is lovely, stop at Coral Bay for a night or two. Explore by taking a quad bike and snorkel tour, a kayaking tour or a cruising yacht tour. Or just spend all day at the beach!

Day 6 and 7
CARNARVON TO DENHAM, SHARK BAY
Approx 300 km – 3 hr

Head south along the North West Coastal Highway and hang a right near the Overlander Roadhouse. Best to stop here and fill up on petrol before hitting the remaining 130 km to Denham. Stay at the Denham Seaside Tourist Village for two nights and ask for a pitch near the beach.

What to do:

Walk along the beachfront where you can use the public bbq facilities to cook and eat whilst watching boats come and go

Fish off the jetties

Drive to nearby attractions such as Shell Beach, Hamelin Pool Stromalites and Monkey Mia to watch the dolphins being fed (26 km from Denham and feedings start at 7:45am)

Check out the lookout at Eagle Bluff

Dive at Steep Point

Extend your stay – book a trip to Dirk Hartog Island, take in a guided 4WD tour and even camp for the night.

Day 8 and 9
DENHAM TO KALBARRI
Approx 380 km – 3 hr 50

Continue south m to Kalbarri and stay a few nights at Kalbarri Tudor Caravan Park.

What to do:

Visit Kalbarri National Park

Check out the iconic Nature’s Window and walk the 9km loop nature trail that takes you down to the water’s edge

Go to the Z Bend walk to the lookout and then the 2km hike to the riverside

Fish off the rocks at Chinaman’s Beach

Walk the nature trails along the coast which take you past Red Bluff, Jacques Point (surf the left-hand reef break), Rainbow Valley, Mushroom Rock and Eagle Gorge

Watch the pelicans fly in for breakfast at the beach

Click here to read our Kalbarri post

Day 10
KALBARRI TO JURIEN BAY
Approx 350 km – 3 hr 30

Drive south to Jurien Bay and take a detour to Port Gregory for photos of Lake Hutt which is pink! Stay at Jurien Bay Tourist Park. As in Cervantes, this is the only caravan park in the town.

What to do:

Fish off the breakwater near the marina

Hire a bike or Segway and make your way along the Turquoise Way trail (8km) taking in the view

Skydive and land directly on the beach

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Day 11
JURIEN BAY TO PERTH
Approx 220 km – 2 hr 15

Finish off this Coral Coast drive by heading back to Perth (most likely where you need to drop off your rented vehicle). If you have the time, make sure you visit Perth and the surrounding areas. Click here to read our in and around Perth post.

This day may have been the end of our Coral Coast drive but it signalled the beginning of the south WA driving trip we had planned. A quick stop at Fremantle market whilst driving through the Perth area (we spent time in Perth before starting this drive) to pick up a few yummy treats and we set off.

Keep an eye out for our south WA itinerary blog post which will follow soon!

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